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Langdale ‘figure of eight’ (Elterwater to New Dungeon Ghyll)

Langdale valley view, Lake District

Walk distance: To New Dungeon Ghyll / Sticklebarn: 4.7 km ; Total circle: 9.9 km

Duration To New Dungeon Ghyll / Sticklebarn: 1hr ; Total circle: 3 hr (not including break times!)

OS Map: OS Explorer OL7 The English Lakes South-eastern area and OL6 The English Lakes (South-western area)

Suitable for: babies in backpacks and all the family.

Walk features: No stiles, riverside; interesting slate quarry; pubs half way round; option to stop and get bus to return to Elterwater half way round (or wait for a member of the group to walk back for the car).

Walk description:

This is a relaxed and easy ‘figure of eight’ walk from Elterwater into the heart of Langdale and back again. You get spectacular views of all the local fells, and great refreshments half way along. You follow the Cumbria Way to the New Dungeon Ghyll, then head back to Elterwater through fields and woodland.

Start from the Elterwater main (National Trust) car park or centre of the village (which can be reached by Ambleside from the 516 ‘Langdale Rambler’ bus).

Elterwater village, Lake District
Eltwater Village

From the car park, cross the bridge and turn immediately right to join the Cumbria Way.

Follow the minor road up a gentle slope.

Look out for the Cumbria Way footpath to the right, passing by a slate quarry on your left.

Come down to the river, and cross it by a wooden footbridge.

You will emerge on to the road at Chapel Stile, by the Wainwright’s Inn.

Along the river near Chapel Stile
River view near Chapel Stile.

Pass by the Inn and almost immediately follow a footpath sign to the left, taking you off the road again.

Follow the path as it passes by buildings, and curves to the left, to cross another pretty stone bridge.

Turn right to pass through a large camp site, following the path alongside the river.

Follow the path as it curves to the left towards the building called Oak Howe, passing in front of it.

At the signpost, behind the building, turn right along the Cumbria Way again.

The path becomes rockier here, heading between two dry stone walls, with foxgloves growing all around.

You get fantastic views of the Langdale Pikes ahead.

Langdale Pikes, Lake District
Langdale Pikes view along the Cumbria Way.

Follow this path as it climbs gently to go over the base of Lingmoor fell and then down again on a paved path into the valley.

From here you can see the buildings at the New Dungeon Ghyll and Sticklebarn, where you’re heading for a rest stop.

Follow the path over the river again to the main road. Turn right along the main road, and then left to reach the New Dungeon Ghyll and Sticklebarn.

Sam & Catherine, Lake District
Sam & Catherine on the hiking trail!

Both have high chairs, toilets, meals and refreshments available.

If you need to break the walk here, you can catch the 516 ‘Langdale Rambler’ bus back to Elterwater (they are infrequent so check times before you go), or send one of the party back to Elterwater while you wait.

To continue, head back to the main road again and turn left along the road.

Look out for a footpath off to the right, and follow this. You will find yourself back at Oak Howe.

Go back past Oak Howe, retracing your steps from earlier. This time at the signpost, go straight on, following the path as it turns left.

Follow this track into woodland, and past Baysbrown farm.

Return path to Elterwater through the woodland.
Return path to Elterwater through the woodland.

Keep straight on this track until it joins a road.

Turn left along the road, and follow it down past the Eltermere Hotel into Elterwater village.

At Elterwater, the popular Britannia Inn does excellent food.

Map of Route


Many thanks to Catherine Redfern for contributing this Baby Routes walk after testing it with her baby son, Sam. Catherine Redfern manages  London Hiker ,  inspiring Londoners who are missing the hills to get out of London and into the countryside.

Catherine Redfern & son Sam.
Catherine Redfern & son Sam.


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